Friday, December 19, 2008

the choice of rick warren


I know a lot of people are mad about Rick Warren being chosen by Obama to do the invocation. I can really understand that, because Rick Warren opposes gay marriage and that is interpreted as very unloving and bigoted by people who are gay. And I can absolutely understand that. But I feel like it's an okay move. I think Obama is showing some diplomacy and fairness with this, because a lot of the country doesn't agree with gay marriage and I think this could be a beautiful way to be diplomatic towards the other side. The laws will turn around on gay marriage and it will become legal, I'm not worried about that. They made interracial marriage legal and they'll make gay marriage legal too before long, and rightfully so. God's will won't be thwarted by a law, if anyone is concerned about that. Obama's being strategic and in the political arena you're going to really hack some people off, but I think he's sacrificing some battles to win the war, like they said in Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. The movie, not the song. I'm sure you knew that though.


Kate said...

In a recent interview, Warren compared gay marriage to "incest, polygamy, and pedophilia and stated that gay marriage rights would lead to hate speech prosecutions of Christians who oppose gay marriage and view homosexuality as sin".

There is nothing unifying about choosing him for such an auspicious (and national) moment.

It would be like telling civil right's workers in the south in the 1960's that having David Duke talk at a civil rights rally was okay for them and that, in any event, we were headed towards national unity.

stephy said...

Wow. I didn't know Rick Warren had said that Kate. YIKES

Mike Edwards said...

I find it interesting that Warren can feed the protestors outside of his church and also donate millions to other common causes and it's ok, but as soon as he disagrees with anyone, all of the sudden, he's a horrible guy unworthy to pray in public.

Warren, a dude I'd have plenty of bones to pick with, has respected everyone elses right to free speech and right to vote for their cause in this country, why should we vilify him for using his??

stephy said...

It is not okay that he compared gay marriage to incest and pedophilia. I'm googling the quote right now to find the context, but saying that in any context is inexcusable. Incest and pedophila prey on innocent victims. Gay marrige is consenting, and what's more, between two people who are in love.

And Mike, do you seriously think this is just about him being villified as soon as he disagrees with anyone? The things he's said, as such a public and powerful figure, are very marginalizing and...worse than marginalizing, they're incendiary and cruel. And that Obama would choose him for such an auspicious (like Kate said) and historical moment as this, goes beyond him just praying in public. It seems to be making a statement about our country's values that goes against personal freedoms.

David said "Yeah, Rick Warren is an idiot and he's the enemy,but do you really think that Obama believes what he believes about gay marriage?" And I don't, but again, choosing him, with the things he's said, for a moment like this looks like a step back for civil rights.

Mike Edwards said...

1. Two people being in love doesn't make it right (not that this is the context for that discussion)

2. Why is it ok for Obama to be tolerant except for if he tolerates Rick Warren? This is the double standard of tolerance is it not? Gay marriage proponents want to be tolerate but seem to refuse to tolerate those who disagree with them.

3. Obama agrees with Warren that marriage should not be redefined. Biden also confirmed this in his debate against Palin. In other words, those who elected Obama now need to deal with the fact he disagrees that marriage should be redefined to include same sex marriages. Unless he has changed his viewpoint since the campaign.

4. This is not a debate over civil rights, but over the definition and understanding of marriage. No one is stopping gay couples from having human rights.

On a personal note, when I interact on the comments here Stephy, I hope you know that I desire to do so respectfully, not just for the sake of argumentation.

stephy said...

Wow, Mike.

Kate said...

This is a tough debate for me. I have no interest in being married. None.

That being said, I have a great deal of interest in not being a second-class citizen. And while I am all for people exercising their religious freedoms, I am also a big fan of the division of church and state. Given that the *state* is the one making decisions here about who can and cannot be "married" in the eyes of the STATE, it's ridiculous that the debate go to what's moral/right in the eyes of "god". It's a civil rights issue. It is NOT an issue of the "definition" of marriage. The meaning of marriage by the state and marriage by the church are being conflated here for the purposes of those who would prevent gays from obtaining the same rights as straight couples.

As to Warren and his right to run his mouth (just like everyone else). What is there to say? Hate away, Warren. Go for it. If you are a bigot and filled with hate -- or a do-gooder who just happens to think that consenting gay adults are the same as child-molesters, what the hell, you can talk about it all you want. [Ain't my fault he's an ignorant idiot.]

It's only my issue when he wants me drummed out of town, or out of my job, or gets in the way of my right to adopt, or be at the bedside of the person I love when they are in a hospital, or inherit property from a lifelong partner, or a million other tiny things that a common-law husband/wife (not married, you understand) could lay claim know, the little things that we all take for granted. There are work-arounds for all of that, eh? More time, more money, no *actual* rights, and the spector of court on the horizon whenever life throws a wrench in the works.'s just speech. He's just expressing an opinion. And lots of people agree with him. Like lots of Germans agreed with that little Austrian dude with a strange mustache back in the 19040s. Warren's entitled to use the bully pulpit any way he wants. As are we all. (Well, until we're not.)

But I can't get behind *that* speaker being a national mouthpiece at the start of what is being heralded as a huge moment of "change" of "hope" of "progress" for this country?

It's symbolic.
It's profound.
It's sending a message to the entire world about what we/he is/are all about.

It's not that he should be shushed. Or that he shouldn't pray. Or that he shouldn't pray with Obama.

But to lead the NATION in prayer at THAT PARTICULAR moment of transition?

How is that okay?

Simone said...

I was initially for him speaking until I learned about his ignorant comparisons of gays to child molesters. I also heard he's done a lot of charity work for AIDS, but fuck it. I'm all for bridging the gaps and working with these right wingers, but he can find someone with a less skewed view of what it means to be gay.

Mike, it seems you skirted around the issue of Warren's comparison to child molesters by stating that just because they love each others doesn't make it "right". As Steph said, if they are consenting, it does not harm anyone unlike child molestation which does. It a horrible comparison. It is only "wrong" based on his and apparently YOUR religious beliefs, which should not be imposed on the rest of us. Your religion is entitled to do whatever they like and should not have to allow it, just as the Catholic church has maintained their unpopular stance on birth control and divorce. If anti-gay marriage folks are doing what God wants, then they need to suck it up and suffer any consequential persecution and accept being called a bigot by basking in the knowledge that you are being martyrs for God and will ultimately rise to sit beside him in heaven while the rest of us fag lovers burn in hell. Isn't that enough?

Robb said...

As someone who supports the right to gay marriage, I felt that this article sums up why I still think that Rick Warren is not a bad choice for the invocation: